First light for Hokupa'a: 36 Element curvature AO system at UH

J. Elon Graves, Malcolm J. Northcott, Francois J. Roddier, Claude A. Roddier, Laird M Close

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

51 Scopus citations


The University of Hawaii adaptive optics program has scaled its previously successful 13 elements AO system to 36 actuators and named it "Hokupa'a", meaning "immovable star" in Hawaiian. First light for Hokupa'a in early November of 1997, was on the Canada France Hawaii Telescope on Mauna Kea, an f/35, 3.35 meter telescope. Performance at the telescope has now been measured and compares favorably with that predicted theoretically. The extension to 36 elements has now allowed the system to give diffraction limited performance down to I band on stars as faint as 12.5 magnitude in median 0.7 arcsecond seeing on Mauna Kea. Like our previous system, extensive computer simulations were carried out to achieve the best possible match between the curvature WFS and the deformable curvature mirror.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes
EventAdaptive Optical System Technologies - Kona, HI, United States
Duration: Mar 23 1998Mar 23 1998


OtherAdaptive Optical System Technologies
CountryUnited States
CityKona, HI



  • Adaptive optics
  • AO optical system design
  • AO telescope performance
  • Curvature deformable mirrors
  • Curvature wavefront sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Graves, J. E., Northcott, M. J., Roddier, F. J., Roddier, C. A., & Close, L. M. (1998). First light for Hokupa'a: 36 Element curvature AO system at UH. In Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (Vol. 3353, pp. 34-43)